I have a confession. I am a school-supply hoarder. I have an obscene amount of boxes of dry erase markers and dry erase boards in my classroom. I have more thumbtacks than you can shake a stick at. And pencils…I have pencils for days. Turn me loose in Office Max and I’m like a kid in a candy store. I love school supplies so much that I actually have a list of my top five.
Giant paper clips. I mean giant. Like three inch ones. The best.
Giant gem clips. These are paper clips that are still bigger than average, but not as long as the giant ones.
Binder clips. These are like duct tape for the classroom. They can fix ANYTHING!
Mechanical pencils. Must be sturdy with a white, solid eraser.
Post-its. Any size, any color, any thickness. I have some shaped like pizza, tacos, and thumbs-up. Never met a post-it I didn’t like.
Speaking of post-its, I recently found an innovative, new use for my giant post-its. These are easel size, about 3 feet by 2 feet. This strategy in the classroom is called an anchor chart. The idea is, as you introduce then teach a topic, you put the key points on the anchor chart. It is then left hanging in the classroom for the duration of the unit.
I made my first one this past December in Algebra 1 for our unit on Linear Equations. It is ok if you have no idea what I’m talking about. But I’ll tell you, if you’d been in my classroom, you’d be right with me. Anchor charts are GAME CHANGERS!!!! I will NEVER not use them again. I am not artistic at all, but I did use different colors, styles of writing, and even had my students do some of it. We added some critical definitions, a few sketches, and the most important formulas. As the unit went on, I just had to point to a topic, and my students remembered exactly what they had learned on that specific day. Their test scores were markedly better than past units. I was, and still am, in awe of how well this worked.
You might already know where I am going with this, but it does sometimes take me a little longer to get places. Not the sharpest mechanical pencil in the box. One Saturday morning, I was lying in bed, scrolling through Pinterest, looking at examples of other teachers’ anchor charts. I suddenly gasped and sat up in bed. I thought, “I could make a spiritual anchor chart! Wouldn’t that be cool? Oh, I could use different color markers, and hang it up on my mirror, or put it in my Bible! If it works that well in the classroom, how well it could work in my life. I could choose a topic I want to know more about and find different verses, or quotes from Christian leaders and write them around the edges!”
I love when my worlds collide! When I can use something I learned at church at school, or vice versa! It truly shows how God has it all figured out, and how each part of our life is important to Him.
Anyway, I want to show you my “WORDS” anchor chart.
This is my visual representation of what I want to remember about words. If you choose to make an anchor chart it will probably look totally different. Maybe you have a different idea of what an anchor chart is all about. I am an extremely visual learner. If you are an auditory learner (you remember what you hear), you might want to have an anchor chart that is a certain playlist of songs you listen to every morning. Or maybe you have heard a certain preacher give a message on words, and you want to listen to that several times and it’s your anchor chart. Other people are kinesthetic learners – they love to make things with their hands. If that is you, consider embroidering a favorite verse about words (or whatever topic you choose) onto a wall hanging or pillow. Possibly creating a work of art using watercolors, pastels, or clay would be best for you. If none of these appeal to you, and you have a great sense of humor, try getting some of those wind-up teeth that chatter and hop across the table! That might be a great way for you to remember to be careful with your words.
It might also be true that none of this is up your alley. Great. God created us all so differently. What helps one person learn and grow may not help another person. Don’t you love His uniqueness?! Find what works for you. Pick an area of your life that you want to learn more about and try to take a little step out of your comfort zone to make it stick!
I’d love to hear about your strategy and see your anchor charts if you choose to make one! Give me a call or shoot me an email. I’ll make a note of it. I’m sure I have a post it around here somewhere…